News / Africa

Muslim Brotherhood Member Denies Group Supports Terrorism

Protesters hold up an effigy of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak during a a mock funeral at Tahrir Square in Cairo, February 7, 2011
Protesters hold up an effigy of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak during a a mock funeral at Tahrir Square in Cairo, February 7, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
  • Mohammed ElBeltagy, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Council, spoke with Clottey

TEXT SIZE - +
Peter Clottey

A prominent member of Egypt’s officially-banned Muslim Brotherhood has denied speculation the growing influence of his group, due to the ongoing crisis, will create a future haven for terrorists who could launch attacks on Israel and some Western countries.

Mohammed ElBeltagy, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Council, told VOA his organization will honor all of Egypt’s peace treaties, including that of Israel.

“The Muslim Brotherhood is not a terrorist organization; it has no dealings with the terrorists; (it) has no history of violence of a sort and we are not calling for a monopoly in the government. We are not running for (the) presidency. All we are calling for is participation in the parliament,” ElBeltagy said. “The ultimate goal for the Muslim Brotherhood is that Egypt becomes a civil country that bases its values on freedom, liberty, equality, social justice and that all of these will lead to prosperity for all Egyptians.”

This came after the Egyptian government decided to raise the salaries of government employees by 15 percent, the latest action in government attempts to quell anger from protesters calling for the ouster of beleaguered President Hosni Mubarak.

But, ElBeltagy said the increase, in his words, "is meant to sidestep the demands of the protesters."

“These are maneuvers to get around what is going on here because the economic rights are not the only rights that the people are asking for. This is not a revolution of hungry people; this is a revolution for freedom, democracy and civil liberties,” said ElBeltagy.

“These are promises that we are not sure that government can fulfill because they haven’t fulfilled previous promises until now. What we are asking for is not just economic prosperity, but civil rights, equality, freedom, justice and freedom of speech and freedom of election. So, it’s not just all about economics.”

ElBeltagy also said his group will not break the country’s peace treaties with other nations.

“The Muslim Brotherhood will honor all the peace treaties that Egypt has signed and we will not change anything. I do emphasize again that the Muslim Brotherhood will honor and respect all those treaties that were signed with any country in the world,” ElBeltagy said.

Meanwhile, thousands of Egyptian opposition activists occupied Cairo's Tahrir square for a 14th day Monday.  Some protesters have planted tents in the square vowing to remain until Mr. Mubarak quits the post he has held for almost 30 years.

U.S. President Barack Obama said Egypt is "making progress" on the negotiating path between the government and opposition leaders.

Mr. Obama made the statement in Washington Monday, a day after Egypt's vice president met with a range of opposition groups in a bid to defuse two weeks of anti-government demonstrations.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid